Over the years we’ve been lucky to have some exceptional athletes, visionaries and leaders demanding the revaluation of women’s role in footy. Debbie Lee and Shannon McFerran have been instrumental throughout their playing careers as two of Australia’s most coveted female footballers, Michelle Cowan and Peta Searle have paved the way for women in elite coaching roles and Western Bulldog’s Vice President Sue Alberti and Richmond President Peggy O’Neal have demonstrated women’s capability in footy’s top roles.

Lucky for us, the next generation of females is just as inspiring and well and truly ready to pick up the baton.

Daisy Pearce

Probably one of the most recognisable faces in women’s footy in recent times, Daisy has every reason to stand out. This year alone she became the first woman drafted by an AFL team as Melbourne’s number one pick, won the MVP award for the Melbourne Western Bulldogs exhibition match, won Melbourne’s inaugural Best Female Player Award at the club’s Best and Fairest, won her sixth Helen Lambert Medal – the equivalent to the Brownlow for the Victorian Women’s Football League and captained the Darebin Falcons to its eighth premiership in a decade. What a year.

Amna Karra-Hassan

Amna co-founded the Auburn Tigers in 2011 making it the first women’s footy team in Greater Western Sydney. Following a partnership with GWS, the team became known as the Giants. Two thirds of the team are Muslim women with the club passionate about changing stereotypes within the community and creating opportunity for minority groups. In June, Auburn Giants played a historic curtain raiser at the MCG before Collingwood took on the GWS Giants. Amna is an active ambassador for Muslim women’s rights and works for the Australian Federal Policy Community Liaison Team. In 2012 she was nominated for the 2012 Young Women of the West Award.

Chelsea Roffey

In 2014, Chelsea celebrated 10-years as an AFL umpire with more than 150 games under her belt. Her 2004 debut was significant in itself, as she became the first female umpire at AFL level. In 2012 she reached yet another significant milestone officiating the AFL Grand Final between Hawthorn and Sydney. Chelsea is also a talented musician and journalist.

Leila Gurruwiwi

Born in Galiwinku, a remote community in Northern Territory, Leila grew up in Bendigo. Her career in media began with a role at Indigenous radio station 3KND, which led to the Marngrook radio show. The show eventually turned into popular TV program the Marngrook Footy Show with Leila as news reporter and presenter. Previously broadcast on the ABC, the Marngrook Footy Show now airs on NITV Thursdays at 7.30 pm. It offers fresh voices, some laughs as well as in-depth football knowledge with Leila one of the show’s starring talents.

Young Auskickers

Chloe Coleman, Ella Eagleton and Lily Brown are the three girls out of 22 nominees vying for the 2015 NAB AFL Auskicker of the Year award. If successful, they will receive $5000 and Joel Selwood as their personal footy mentor. As nominees, the girls will walk in the Grand Final Parade on Friday, play on the MCG at halftime on Grand Final day and present the premiership medals to the winning side in one of footy’s best traditions. They are also the promising faces of the future of women’s footy.